Update 26th November 2021
Please read the following from ViewRanger via email received today…
We would like to inform you of an important change:
Soon the ViewRanger service will be discontinued.
In order to focus all our effort on our Outdooractive app and website, we will be switching off access to the ViewRanger app and website. This email explains how you can continue to access your maps and other data through the Outdooractive app and website
We currently expect to switch off access to the ViewRanger app and website at the end of February 2022. You can start accessing maps and data through the Outdooractive app and website now by following the steps in this email.
One-off payments in ViewRanger
If you made one-off payments to access maps of an area within ViewRanger, then you will be able to access maps of those areas via the free version of the Outdooractive app and website. The maps will be from the same map data provider or from an alternative map data provider depending on the map region:
• Great Britain: if you currently have access to OS map tiles in England, Scotland, or Wales, you will have access to 1:50,000 and 1:25,000 OS maps across Great Britain.
Other data in ViewRanger
By connecting your ViewRanger account to Outdooractive, routes you have plotted, routes you have downloaded, activity tracks you have recorded, a record of the challenges you participated in, and points-of-interest you have marked, will continue to be available within your Outdooractive account.
To access maps and other content in Outdooractive you will need to have an Outdooractive account. The content described above is available for you via a free Outdooractive account. If you would like to access more advanced functions alongside that content then you can upgrade to a Pro or Pro+ subscription.
It seems those who have purchased, not subscribed, lifetime tiles and area maps with still have access to them indefinitely if they connect their ViewRanger accounts to OutdoorActive – regardless of which free or subscription plan you choose.
End of Update
If you hadn’t heard, ViewRanger, the much respected app (and service) used by millions worldwide as a route plotting, route recording and peerless navigational aid, used by individuals and rescue organizations worldwide, has been purchased by OutdoorActive – “The digital home for experiencing the great outdoors.”
I’m not going to get into why this has happened – I don’t know for sure and I don’t want to get into speculation – this post is simply about what is happening to a much loved, used and respected application. The following is an email response from ViewRanger…
ViewRanger is now part of Outdooractive and ViewRanger is no longer selling new subscriptions. Any existing VR subscripting will be honoured until it expires in 2021.
Outdooractive works on a subscription basis. When connect your ViewRanger account to Outdooractive, you’ll be given a free period or a voucher based on what you own in ViewRanger. The subscription gives you the whole country, plus numerous other countries, rather than needing to buy separate subscriptions in ViewRanger. The maps are all up to date, updated regularly. And for OS GB, the maps are the high resolution ones, not available in ViewRanger.
Any gifted OA subscription will not automatically renew when it expires. OA charge an annual fee of €30 for Pro or €60 for Pro+ (or in-app £26.99 for PRO and £53.99 for PRO+).
ViewRanger credits do not transfer to Outdooractive, but they are taken account of when they set you up initially and obtain an incentive in OA.
You can continue using ViewRanger, it is not stopping, but we are only doing maintenance on it now, no new development.
Outdooractive bought the company behind ViewRanger, with the aim of combining the two to make the best possible outdoors app and service. Over the last year we’ve been working to add the best features of ViewRanger to Outdooractive (for example Buddy Beacon, Skyline, Wear, Challenges), and that continues, with the aim of making Outdooractive the best app. So we do expect most people will choose to move to Outdooractive over the coming year. But you are welcome to stay using ViewRanger too.’
So, according to ViewRanger (VR), we can continue using the VR app as “it is not stopping“, and, although there will be “no new development” of the app, VR will still be “doing maintenance on it“.
This would also likely mean any existing maps, tiles etc. purchased by a VR user would still be available in the VR app (although this is yet to be confirmed).
Had OutdoorActive’s (OA) own app been fully developed and tested and was truly “combining the two to make the best possible outdoors app and service“, before they tried to ‘sell’ it to us as a better app than VR, then I might not have needed to write this post.
However, having tested the OA app recently, I find it lacking. Not least in the area of reliability in the field. It’s all well and good OA bigging up what it sees as VR’s “best features” (“Buddy Beacon, Skyline, Wear, Challenges“), but I don’t think any of those are VR’s best features – I certainly didn’t use any of them in the 11 years I’ve been using VR.
It’s in the mountains I want reliability of satellite lock, app robustness and reliability, to know where I am on a track I’ve created and am following (even in a ‘whiteout’), to know that if I lost my compass I could rely on VR to get me to safety. Can the current OA do that?
Well maybe it can, I just don’t know. But I KNOW VR can. Trust takes ages to acquire. VR had mine. OA needs to work hard to get it.
For now I’m sticking with VR until it becomes no longer viable for the purposes I use it for. In the meantime I’ll be looking at alternatives should VR truly bite the bullet. At least I can still rely on VR whilst I search for its successor.